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Rolling Stones – Newcastle 1973 (Vinyl Gang VGP-035)

Newcastle 1973 (Vinyl Gang VGP-035)

Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle, England – September 13th, 1973 (first show)

(70:33):  Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Happy, Tumbling Dice, Star Star, Dancing With Mr. D, Angie, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Midnight Rambler, Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man

The Rolling Stones played two shows in Newcastle on September 13th.  They performed in the 2000 seat Newcastle City Hall which has hosted every major rock act since the sixties.  Although the late show is not known to have been taped, the early shows exists in a good audience recording that is clear enough to be enjoyed but has its limitations.  Jagger’s stage commentary is very faint and the bottom end tends to sound mushy.  But there is nice definition in the upper frequency with great emphasis of Mick Taylor’s guitar over everything else.  There is a tape flip after “Midnight Rambler” but no music is lost.  

Three songs from a radio broadcast, “Brown Sugar,” “Star Star” and “Angie” were used for the compilation LP Down In The Graveyard (OBR 93007) and copied on another vinyl release Down In The Graveyard (King Snake Records KS 003).  Cocksucker Blues (COC 7073-2) contains the three tracks while All Aboard (ZIG 06) has two and Back To The Graveyard (OBR-485-CD-030) is a compact disc compilation which contains one song.  Vinyl Gang released the entire audience tape on Newcastle 1973 as one of their early project and have recently reissued the tape utilizing the same catalogue number.  The artwork has the same design but is printed on thin dull paper rather than thick glossy paper used for the first pressing.

The set list is the same as the other UK dates except that “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker),” which was played only if time permitted, was dropped to shorten the show slightly.  “Brown Sugar” starts off the set, perhaps their most violent number at that time followed by the gloom of “Gimme Shelter.”  The recording minimizes the annoying horn section in favor of the cut throat guitar lines, and it’s a credit to the band’s creativity and imagination that this song takes on a different tenor with each show.  

Two songs from Exile On Main Street, “Happy” and “Tumbling Dice” are played before a block of new songs from Goats Head Soup.  Taylor plays interesting variations of the melody in “Dancing With Mr. D” by adding additional trills and ornaments to the creepy theme.  “Angie” is the only slower paced “sad song” of the set dominated by the Stones’ hard groove.  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” reaches an epic eight minutes long and “Midnight Rambler,” still the set’s centerpiece, reaching twelve.  The final twenty minutes builds into the frenzy of “Street Fighting Man” before the Stones leave the stage.  The tape continues with several minutes of the crowd begging for an encore as an orchestral version of “Greensleeves” plays over the venue’s PA.  Any tape from their European tour is worth having and since this is the only silver pressed edition it is de facto definitive.     

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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  1. Um, Lordbud? How do you type while wearing that strait jacket? Calm down already. I have no clue if this is an upgrade over the first one or not. It doesn’t sound like there is any heavy remastering done on the tape.

  2. News flash, Lordbud: Efforts to legalize human cloning are on the rise. Before you choose to dust yourself off, consider tapping your heels 3 times and repeat slowly and without conviction – I want my VGP upgrades

  3. I’m gonna throw away my original card stock VGP issue and buy this UPGRADE because it’s so important to have. Can’t wait for the next VGP release so I can toss out whatever original I have into the dust bin. Original issues of VGP discs are not sold-out in some cases and can still be purchased from at least one usual suspect in Japan.

  4. Great review and I’m glad to finally put this show in my collection. Wish I had the original VGP release to compare it to. Would imagine that this is probably a reissue; not an upgrade…

  5. Oh – and one more thing; “Back To The Graveyard” from Outsider Bird contains all 3 Newcastle tracks in SBD quality – not just 1 song, as written above.

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